Dear Car Talk,
In yesterday’s Daily Press, Newport News, Viriginia, Shirley’s letter to Car Talk could have been written by me. Like Shirley, I too am an active soon to be 80 senior, and over the last few years I too have been keeping my eyes open for a new station wagon to replace my 1992 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon. I drove my beloved “truckster” off the show room floor in October 1992, and today with probably close to 300,000 thousand miles, it continues to be my main transportation.
Like Shirley, I too kayak but also I bike, hike, and swim while, usually daily, also driving to local city or state parks for long walks with my German Shepherd and a smaller mixed terrier.
My Estate Wagon has spoiled me with a couple of features not found today on wagons, but one that is missing, sadly, is a deal breaker for me, and the one reason why I did not drive the new VW Alltrack away from the dealer a couple of months ago.
With one exception, the BMW sports wagon, does have a rear window that opens independently from its rear door.
Unfortuntely, while I know I will never find a station wagon today with the space behind the front seats as large as my estate wagon, the BMW sports wagon is tiny, tiny back there……plus, it’s cost for this senior senior is way too high at this stage in my life. The VW Alltrack had about a foot or more space in the back when the seats are folded down, and it’s price is more reasonable……but I was stopped from purchasing it without the independently opening rear window.
Here are some of the reasons why I found independently opening rear windows are so valuable for active owners of station wagons (like Shirley, I am not interested in a SUV.)
When you have your kayak or bike already loaded on your car and suddenly remember you need an article of clothing or a piece of equipment out of your car, that independently opening rear window is a life saver, particularly when you keep extra clothing, ropes, etc., inside your car up against the back gate, like I do.
You do not need to untie or remove the equipment already loaded on your car, you only need to open that back window and reach in for the extra ropes, or whatever. Try opening the entire back gate to reach in the car for something you need without having to untie and/or remove equipment already loaded on the roof or on the car’s rear bumper……it isn’t possible without first undoing all or most of what you did to anchor your equipment to the car…
And, that independently opening rear window is a must when you have dogs or pets or even a baby or children strapped in their car seats. If someone stops to talk to you, you only need to open that rear window to give the dogs water or both dogs/children etc air while your conversation continues longer than you anticipated. Heaven forbid trying to open the entire rear gate if you realize you need to let in some air or give the pets some water…………not only would many dogs then “escape” but anything you have inside up against the back rear gate would be pushed out on the ground as the dogs pushed to get outside and free. Actually, a realtor friend also pointed out when it’s windy and she opens her entire back gate (she keeps her work-related folders and papers in the back of her wagon) they are blowing out of the car and around before she knows it. She said she would prefer a wagon with an independently opening rear window.
My question is are you aware of any station wagons in the near future that are going to be manufactured with an independently opening rear window?
If so, please share that information with your followers.
Thank you. Sandra